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Are We Abounding In The Lord's Work?

Are We Abounding In The Lord’s Work?

   In 1Corinthians 15:58 the Spirit had the apostle Paul write so that these Christians would know what they were to be doing and why. Therefore, my beloved brethren, be ye stedfast, unmoveable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, forasmuch as ye know that your labour is not in vain in the Lord.  As we read this passage, have we stopped to consider what they, and we are being admonished to do?  

Upon looking up the definition of “abound”, one will find it to mean: exist in large numbers or amounts.   Some of the synonyms for “abound” are: thrive, flourish, boundless and inexhaustible. How many of us can truthfully examine our service to God and honestly say we “abound”? Do we thrive as we do the work of the Lord? Do we flourish, or are we inexhaustible as we carry out what God has left for His children to accomplish while we spend our few days on this earth?  

   I suppose to answer the question that is the title of our article we must first answer the question: “What is the Lord’s Work?”   The best One to ask such a question is the Son of God Himself.   In John chapter 6 after Jesus had fed many, they still wanted a sign. They challenged the Lord in John 6:30 to prove what he had done. They said: What sign shewest thou then, that we may see, and believe thee? what dost thou work?  Then in John 6:38 we see the Lord’s response to them.   He did not come to do His own Will or to follow His own plan. For I came down from heaven, not to do mine own will, but the will of him that sent me.  It is not God’s Will that any perish as we read from 2Peter 3:9. The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.  Christ came to pay the price so all would have means and opportunity to be saved if they but follow the Word of God and be obedient to it.

   All who are Christians, those who have been obedient to the gospel are to carry on the Work the Lord started while He was here on earth, announcing  the church while it was in its preparatory state.   In Matthew 4:17 we read of the start of the Lord’s earthly ministry. From that time Jesus began to preach, and to say, Repent: for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.  That kingdom is the church and all those who are in the kingdom are to do as the Lord Himself Commanded in Matthew 28:19-20 as He gave the Great Commission. Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: 20 Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world.

    The Lord’s work was to die on the cross and purchase the church. He did this and thereby was inexhaustible in carrying out the Will of His Father in Heaven.   How much do we “abound” in His Work?    God, in 1Timothy 2:4 tells us it is His Will that souls be saved. Who will have all men to be saved, and to come unto the knowledge of the truth.  Are we boundless in our efforts to do our part to see that this happens?   The Spirit had the apostle Paul express it this way as he wrote to the church in Corinth. For though I preach the gospel, I have nothing to glory of: for necessity is laid upon me; yea, woe is unto me, if I preach not the gospel! 1Corinthians 9:16  It is the duty of all Christians to preach (teach) the gospel. That is the work in which we must “abound” if we are to be pleasing to God.  

   Those in the world who refuse to be obedient, per 1Corinthians 1:18, see “preaching” as silliness, but those who are obedient realize preaching for what it truly is.  For the preaching of the cross is to them that perish foolishness; but unto us which are saved it is the power of God.   Paul was directed by the Spirit to write this in Romans 1:16-17 this way. For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek. 17 For therein is the righteousness of God revealed from faith to faith: as it is written, The just shall live by faith. 

     Since faith comes from hearing God’s Word (Romans 10:17) and God’s Word is His power unto Salvation, can we possibly abound in His Work if we don’t (teach) preach the Word of God? Was this not what the Spirit had Paul tell Timothy in 1Timothy 4:1-2?  I charge thee therefore before God, and the Lord Jesus Christ, who shall judge the quick and the dead at his appearing and his kingdom; 2 Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all longsuffering and doctrine.  The reason this is needed is told in 1Timothy 4:3-4 . For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears; And they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables.

   That time came a long time ago and is still with us. As there are so many seeking their own teachers, we have much work ahead of us.   It is time to begin to abound in the Lord’s Work.  Find someone willing to hear God’s Word and teach them what God would have them do to be saved. Or, at the very least invite them to services.   Time’s a wasting.

                                   Dennis Strickland – Mooresville church of Christ

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